This weekend, the perfect weather conditions accidentally occurred here, in the north of France!
You might be wondering - wait, there is one and only, the most famous of all Louvre Museum, located in Paris, how come this one is also named "Louvre"?
Because of the criticism that Paris represents the center of French culture and art, French Ministry of Culture decided to make cultural values available to people living outside of Paris. This is how the idea of making a "Louvre satellite museum" was born, which will contain some of the collections of the original Louvre museum. The only region of France who actually applied was Nord-Pas-de-Calais - north of France, and in 2004 Lens was selected by the French Prime Minister as the city in which museum will be built.
First impression when you arrive at the spot is the building itself - beautiful, extremely modern looking glass construction, which I though it was amazing because it represents a complete contrast to epochal range of exhibitions displayed inside.
La Galerie du temps
This gallery can be considered as the heart of the museum, spreading over the 3000 m2 and containing more than 200 masterpieces lent by the museum of Louvre.
The collections contained within this gallery are divided according to epochal chronology:
Personally I found the antiquity art the most interesting in this museum, so I will share photos of several masterpieces from that epoch here, with short descriptions.
The invention of writing in the East around 3500 BC can be considered as the beginning of the antiquity period, and fall of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 AD marks the end of it.
The collections in Louvre are focused on three contemporary centers of ancient civilization - Near East, Egypt and Mediterranean basin.
In the 4th millennium BC writing and political organization into city states emerged in Mesopotamia. During the 2nd and 1st millennia large empires developed - the Egypt of the Middle and New Kingdoms, Babylon, the Assyrian and Persian Empire. The Persians unified the Near East, integrating Egypt and and part of the Greek world. Unification of the three civilizations continued with the conquests of Alexander The Great (336-323 BC). Finally, the establishment of great Roman Empire (27 BC - AD 476) created a common civilization, linking Europe to North Africa and the Near East.
Around 1950 BC
The figure represents the young woman carrying a basket of offerings on her head and a duck in her right hand. For each servant that the deceased had during his life, one figure of the servant must be placed in his tomb for afterlife.
Sarcophagus of Lady Tanetmit: mummy case, inner and outer coffins
Around 945-715 BC
Lady Tanetmit was a priestess of the god Amon-Re at Thebes.
Troop of funeral servants (oushebtis) registered in the name of Neferibreheb
Around 500 BC
The funeral servants (oushebtis in Egyptian) are small statuettes depicting a character, standing, usually wrapped up in strips, whose crossed arms grab various instruments or attributes. A text written on the servant usually describes the name and titles of its owner, and specifies the function of the figure to perform in the afterlife, instead of the deceased.
Vase (crater) depicting musical contest between the god Apollo and the satyr Marsyas
Around 380 BC
Lucania (current Italy)
Classical Greece period spanned the 5th and the 4th centuries BC, and during this period of Athenian hegemony an art school developed that attracted the artists from all over the Greek world. The so-called "red-figure" pottery technique is an invention of the workshops of the Athens region around 530 BC, and it was transferred to southern Italy.
Relief representing Mithra, Iranian god of the Sun, sacrificing the bull
Around 100 - 200 AD
The god Mithra wears the Phrygian cap and the Iranian trousers, which emphasize his oriental origin. The first traces of his worship are attested in Rome at the very end of the 1st century AD. He is celebrated on 25th of December; this is the date chosen by Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ in the 4th century.
Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who became a dual being after his union with the nymph Salmacis
Around 130-150 AD
In Greek mythology, Hermaphrodite is the son of the god Hermes and the goddess Aphrodite. The nymph Salmacis, who fell in love with the handsome young man who rejected her, convinced the god Zeus to unite their bodies for the eternity.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor
Around 160 AD
The representation of the emperor giving a speech to the soldiers of his army originates from a type of statue of Augustus of Prima Porta (27 BC - 14 AD), which is preserved in the Vatican Museums. Like his predecessor, Marcus Aurelius wears the breastplate of the imperator.
Sarcophagus - musical contest between the god Apollo and the satyr Marsyas
Around 290-300 AD
The torture of Marsyas is represented at the right end of the sarcophagus. Suspended from a pine by a slave wearing a short tunic (exomid) and a conical cap (pileus), he is about to be flayed with the knife another slave is sharpening.
Venus and Cupid on a Sea Monster
Around 200 - 300 AD
The marine monster at the foot of Venus represents a birth of the goddess, who is born from the foam of the waves.
Hope you have enjoyed these masterpieces as much as I did during my visit (of course, these should be admired in the museum, not in the photos!).
Since I know that @zest would be very interested in seeing this post, as someone who is very much into archaeology and art, I'm tagging him so he doesn't miss it ;)